Breckenridge Marijuana Shop Fights Move to Force It Off Main Street

breckenridge.cannabis.club.facebook.4.565x300.jpg
Photos from the Breckenridge Cannabis Club Facebook page.
Breckenridge has a well-founded reputation for progressive marijuana policy. The town's voters decriminalized pot in 2009, years before the passage of Amendment 64.

Nonetheless, officials passed a law banning new pot shops from opening on Main Street, and a grandfather clause for the Breckenridge Cannabis Club, which was already located there, is about to expire. But the latter's co-owner says an extension has been granted and she's hopeful the BCC will be allowed to remain for the long term.

See also: Sean McAllister on Breckenridge's decriminalization of weed, the Board of Health's medical-marijuana action

According to Caitlin McGuire, "we got our license in 2009 and opened in January 2010. We'll be hitting our five-year mark, hopefully, come this next January."

breckenridge.cannabis.club.facebook.2.jpg
Despite the Club's longevity, McGuire says, "we've had residents who've lived in Breck their entire lives, and even up until earlier this year, they didn't know where we were. I don't know if it's that our sign is tucked off the main walking area or that you have to walk upstairs -- there's no window frontage, so you have to walk up to the attic, so to speak, to get to us. It's a fairly discreet location, with almost no impact on Main Street."

Right now, the BCC is the only pot shop on the route. But at one point, it was one of three -- and this proliferation appears to have inspired a backlash. "Last fall, the previous council decided they no longer wanted any marijuana shops on Main Street," McGuire says. "They allowed us to stay until the end of our lease, but beyond that, they asked us to leave."

Given that the original lease was slated to expire on September 1, the BCC's days seemed numbered. But since the ban was put in place, there's been some turnover on the council, McGuire notes: "There are a couple of new members, and in May or June, we asked them to consider removing the law that says we have to move. Whether that means it's just us that stays or they open up zoning to other stores is up to them, but we don't want to be forcibly removed from our location."

breckenridge.cannabis.club.facebook.1.jpg
There's already been some progress on this front. McGuire reveals that town officials extended the get-out deadline until February 2 "while they have the conversation about what they want to do" -- and fortunately, that was okay with the BCC's landlord: "She doesn't want us to leave, so she had no issue reworking our lease to fit what the council came up with, with the hope they decide to let us stay indefinitely."

Still, uncertainty remains. In the beginning, the issue seemed bound for the November ballot, where its prospects looked excellent. (In an echo of the 2009 decriminalization vote, Amendment 64 passed in Breckenridge by what McGuire estimates at 70-30 percent.) But now, council members will be making the decision themselves, albeit with a self-imposed early November deadline to keep the time frame in the same range as the election.

As a result, "we need to work with the council a little more on this topic," McGuire says. "But we're not trying to be overly vocal" -- an approach that eschews troop-rallying demonstrations in favor of attending council meetings and putting on presentations for organizations such as the Summit County Sheriff's Office and the local Rotary Club, with which the BCC has membership.

breckenridge.cannabis.club.facebook.5.jpg
No question that moving off Main Street could have a tremendously negative impact on the shop: McGuire says up to 90 percent of her business is generated by tourists, and if the BCC has to move somewhere beyond the central district that's only accessible by car as opposed to on foot, revenues could plummet. But she also sees negative repercussions for area retailers as a whole if there's a move.

"Almost no one comes to Breck for marijuana alone," McGuire maintains. "They can buy it in Denver or Boulder or other places that are closer or easier to get to. But if they come to Breck for skiing or mountain-biking trips, they may buy some -- and I believe anyone who comes to our store is going to patronize other businesses in town. That really helps stimulate the entire economy in Breck, not just our shop."

There's also the BCC's status as cannabis ambassadors. "We're happy to be available to answer anyone's questions," McGuire stresses. "We're here not just for people who consume marijuana, but also for people who want to know more about the industry. That's been one of the great opportunities of being on Main Street in Breck: People can just stop in and see what it's all about. Even if they don't necessarily want to buy a joint, that's fine with us. We're just happy to be here."

And they hope they'll be allowed to stay. Here's a CBS4 report on the battle.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

My Voice Nation Help
57 comments
Nicole GuBrath
Nicole GuBrath

Maybe by things like Amendment 2 and all of the mass shootings. I disagree that our relationship has been tainted, but even if it was, it sure as heck beats being called, "The Hate State."

Greg Jabuki DeRuckus
Greg Jabuki DeRuckus

yeah but if that means less close minded conservatives move here then that's a fantastic thing. They can always move back to Texas. ;) damn democracy through ballot initiatives.

Greg Jabuki DeRuckus
Greg Jabuki DeRuckus

The answer is the same as are there liquor stores on main street? Segregation was the tactic after the civil war as well. it's legal and not a back alley drug which should be treated the same as alcohol for adults.

Adam Jones
Adam Jones

Doesn't breckenridge hold the record for most liquor license to citizen ratio? How is that reputation going to be hurt by a recreational store or two.

Joseph Giordano
Joseph Giordano

I thought Breckinridge was a coke town! Guess I thought wrong.

John Scruggs
John Scruggs

I think it enhances the towns reputation as a fun loving place to recreate.

Adam Johnson
Adam Johnson

Bitch all you want about dispensaries in Denver but that shit belongs in breck so dont even fuck with it. If it scares people off good!!! More pow for me!

Kimberly Scott-Marsden
Kimberly Scott-Marsden

NO..good grief..ya'll need to come up with some better questions. You ask some of the most dim-witted crap.

Tai Kahn
Tai Kahn

Been in that dispensary, awesome little place. Fuck breck.

Stephen Felt
Stephen Felt

No more than having a liquor store, bar, or brewery

Steve Potts
Steve Potts

Most of Coloradans believe in live and let live and stay the fuck out of my/our business. You don't like it you don't need to come visit. It's a big country.

Septimius Prime
Septimius Prime

I remember when Breckenridge was five or six run down mining cabins... there "reputation" was "who the fuck would ever go there"... so no? Fact ima head over their today!

Tim Hauger
Tim Hauger

Nothing can improve the reputation of the slobs in Breckenridge. But keep trying.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

The American Taliban strikes again.

Ed Haas
Ed Haas

It's a disgrace to all things....to all things....ah fuck it, there's nothing wrong with it.

Joslyn Larned
Joslyn Larned

Its legal. I smell discrimination. Haters. Weed goes nice with beer. Build a bridge Breckenridge!!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

The voters of Breckenridge may have the opportunity to repudiate the poor decisions of their Councilors, but to avoid the need to have to keep trying to mitigate their mistakes, voters should elect more sensible and representative Councilors in the first place.

Eric Frees
Eric Frees

Its part of the tourist attraction

Clara Madrid
Clara Madrid

I think the mj shop makes Breck a little less snobby.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

All of which are REGULATED as to where they can locate.


Get REGULATED, Bitch! -- you voted for it!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Septimius Prime "Fact ima [sic] head over their [sic] today!"


You'd do better to head over to summer school, remedial English.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... the voters of Breckenridge have more important things to do than care that THE REGULATION they voted for is actually being applied to an overpriced, overtaxed, government controlled greedy big $$ dispensary.


hth

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @RobertChase Apparently, many customers and townsfolk disagree -- the larger issue, of course, is that Town Councillors are totally wrong in discriminating against a popular business that is instrumental in promoting the town's economic interests.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase ... they discriminate and REGULATE many business types as to location, including liquor stores, porn shops, massage parlors, etc.


Get REGULATED, fucktard -- YOU voted for it!

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @RobertChase No, I had no hand in electing unrepresentative prudes in Breckenridge; I did campaign door to door there to rescind the municipal ordinance against possession of cannabis.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...